The European Union has announced that registrations for .eu domain names will begin later this year.
The 'sunrise' period, which enables rights holders to register their brands' domain names, will officially open on 7 December.
The period is divided into two two-month phases — the first phase will allow public bodies and trademark holders to register their names as URLs, while the second will be dedicated to those with no official trademark but with a recognisable business or artistic identifier to register.
From April 2006, the 'land rush' phase will start and the general public will be allowed to register their domain name of choice.
The proposed cost for a domain name registration will be €10 plus VAT, which .eu administrator Eurid hopes to lower to €5 plus VAT in the second year.
Eurid has already warned would-be .eu domain name owners to beware of scammers who claim to be able to provide preregistration.